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Scripps Oceanography Research pegs ID of red tide killer
Date:5/1/2008

am, a distinguished professor of marine microbiology in the Marine Biology Research Division at Scripps, said harmful algal blooms are an important problem and consideration must be given to the fact that red tide dinoflagellates dont exist in isolation of other parts of the marine food web. Bacteria and other parts of the microbial loop feed on the organic matter released by the dinoflagellates and in turn the dinoflagellates are known to feed on other cells (including bacteria) when their nutrients run out.

Dinoflagellate interactions with highly abundant and genetically diverse bacteria in the sea have the potential to both enhance and suppress bloom intensitybut this important subject is only beginning to be explored.

The newly identified role of RCA cluster is a good illustration of the need to understand the multifarious mechanisms by which microbes influence the functioning of the marine ecosystems, Azam said.

This type of discovery is helping us understand algal bloom dynamics and the interactions among the components of planktonic ecosystems in ways that wed imagined but previously lacked evidence, said Franks.


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Contact: Mario Aguilera or Annie Reisewitz
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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